Rahane’s Ton Sets Up India’s 105-run Thrashing Of West Indies

Ajinkya Rahane in action on his way to 103 off 104 balls. - Sakshi Post

Port of Spain: Ajinkya Rahane struck a brilliant century before the bowlers dished out a disciplined show as India thrashed a hapless West Indies by 105 runs in a lopsided contest in the second cricket one-dayer here.

Put into bat, India rode on Rahane's 103 off 104 balls and a blistering 66-ball 97 from captain Virat Kohli to pile on 310 for 5 after rain delayed the start of the match by two hours and reduced it to a 43-over-a-side affair. The Indian bowlers then took over as they restricted West Indies to 205 for 6 to put the visitors 1-0 up in the five- match ODI series. "It was a complete performance again. The partnership between Ajinkya and Shikhar was outstanding, and myself at the back end, with Yuvi, MS and Kedar chipping in," Kohli said after the match. "Early wickets for Bhuvi, and really happy for Kuldeep as well, bowling for the first time and taking three wickets. The bench strength has always been right up there for us. Jinks couldn't get a game in the Champions Trophy unfortunately, but shows his mental strength, steps in and scores runs," he said.

India became the side who have hit maximum number of 300-plus scores in an innings, as they reached the mark for the 96th time, overtaking Australia who had made over 300 runs 95 times.

Surprisingly, the West Indians did not show any intent of chasing down the big target of 311 once they found the asking rate to be too high in the final 10 overs. For India, the bowlers bowled an impeccable line and length with Kuldeep Yadav (3/50) being the most successful among them. The chinaman bowler got the first wicket of his ODI career. He did not get to bowl in his debut match in the first ODI which was abandoned due to rain.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/9) rocked the West Indies run chase by grabbing the first two wickets by the third over. He removed Kieran Powell (0) in the third delivery (0) and then had Jason Mohammed (0) in his next over. Wicketkeeper batsman Shai Hope (81) and Evin Lewis (21) had a 89-run stand for the 3rd wicket to keep them in the hunt but once that partnership was snapped, the West Indians threw in the towel and they were happy to bat out their innings.

When Hope was out in the 26th over, the asking rate had gone above 12 an over and West Indies had already given up by then though they had six wickets in hand. Captain Jason Holder (29) tried to get the big shots without any success as Kuldeep and Ravichandran Ashwin (1/47) gave him very few of them. When Holder was out in the 37th over, West Indies needed 136 runs from 11 overs. "We didn't really bowl that well. We didn't close out the innings well, and we didn't have momentum going at the start of our chase," Holder said.

Earlier, Rahane smashed his third ODI hundred to set up India's biggest win against the West Indies in the Caribbeans in terms of runs. Put into bat, India dashed West Indies hopes of any early breakthrough on a damp pitch as they negotiated the initial overs without losing any wicket. Rahane and his opener partner Dhawan (63) laid a strong foundation with a 114-run stand and despite a bit of a wobble in the middle overs, India went past 300 with Kohli stamping his class with a 66-ball 87 later in the innings.

Rahane, who also had hit 62 in the abandoned first match, had 10 fours and two sixes in his 104-ball knock before he was out in the 34th over. He also shared 97 runs for the second wicket with Kohli, who hit four boundaries and four sixes in his aggressive innings. Kohli was out at the fag end of the innings after playing some exquisite strokes to the delight of the crowd at the Queen's Park Oval.

Senior batsman Yuvraj Singh, however, continued with his struggle as he fell for just 14 from 10 balls while Hardik Pandya was the other Indian to fall cheaply for just 4. The West Indies bowlers lacked discipline and bowled too many loose and short deliveries. The Indian batsmen were never troubled in any way during their innings.

West Indies captain Holder put India to bat after winning the toss but his hopes of getting an early wickets on a pitch which looked damp went haywire as Dhawan and Rahane giving scant respect of the home bowlers just like they did in the abandoned first match at the same venue.

Dhawan, who continued with his red-hot form from the Champions Trophy itself, and Rahane stitched 114 runs from 18.2 runs to set the match nicely for India. The duo raced to the 50-run mark in the eighth over with the help of seven fours and a six. Rahane hit pacer Alzarri Joseph for a huge six in the third over before Dhawan sent Holder for two boundaries in the next over.


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